Lot 889. A rare and large dali marble-inset zitan table screen, 19th century; 35 in. (88.9 cm.) high, 27 ¾ in. (70.5 cm.) wide, 12 ¼ in. (31.1 cm.) deep. Estimate USD 80,000 - USD 120,000. Price realised USD 75,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.
The variegated dali marble panel is suggestive of a dramatic mountainous landscape, and is enclosed within a zitan frame set into a zitan stand carved with two chilong confronting a beribboned cash symbol on the waist above scrolled apron that joins thick shoe feet flanked by beaded, standing spandrels.
Provenance: Private Collection, Pennsylvania.
Note: Decorative stone panels have long been prized by the literati for their abstract imagery and complex patterns. Often evoking dramatic landscapes, these panels were set into tables, display stands or screens. Table screens were set on the scholar's desk to encourage reflection.
The present table screen is exceptional for the unusually large size of the dali marble stone and its prominently figured bands. The black, inky swirls stand in striking contrast to the creamy white tones of the stone, creating a pleasing and dramatic effect. Screens of this rarer large size could be placed on large painting tables or on the floor. A slightly smaller dali-marble inset screen with a huanghuali frame and stand is illustrated by Grace Wu in The Best of The Best: The MQJ Collection of Ming Furniture, vol. 2, Hong Kong, 2017, p. 504-505. See also a dal- marble and zitan table screen, formerly in the Ed and Nancy Rosenthal Collection, sold at Christie’s New York, 14-15 September 2017, lot 945.
Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 13 September 2019